Courgette to the rescue 

August for me is similar to the last week of December. People are away or preoccupied, so essentially my daughter and I are left largely to amuse ourselves.

Now, some families may feel this is ace. However, it is dull for a ten-year-old and it’s dull for a single woman. So, I’ve been feeling downcast recently, wishing for a greater sense of community.

Then about an hour ago, there was a knock at the front door. My daughter had received a message from her friend who we took to Old Sleningford a couple of weeks ago, saying to expect a visitor. But it turned out to be a visiting bearing gifts.

Rachel, at the farm, had offered me a couple of courgettes, which had grown into splendid marrows, though when cooked these stay firm. I’d given one to the friend’s mum, thinking there was no way we would get through the two of them. Except that we are now getting a second round in the form of pakora and curry from our friends!


My daughter turned her nose up at all the courgette dishes I cooked but dived straight into the pakora and had to laugh when I explained what exactly she was eating. She therefore now thinks I need to give her foodstuffs unnamed, which might enable her to try out more of our own produce.


I’m not sure I will give her any of the evening primrose which are currently blooming in the front garden. Not least, they look so pretty, especially with the gladioli for contrast. However, I am more than pleased that the seeds I got from Old Sleningford last autumn have germinated. Another gift which gladdens the heart!

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About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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11 Responses to Courgette to the rescue 

  1. Clare Pooley says:

    I spent some years as a single parent with a daughter so I know of some of the problems you are facing. Not telling your daughter what vegetables etc. you have put into the meals you cook will probably work for a while so give it a go! Life can get lonely and dreary at times when there is just the two of you, but when I look back on my time with my elder daughter before I re-married I mainly remember the good times. My first husband left when our daughter was 13 weeks old and I got remarried when she was nearly nine years old. I recall the closeness and cosiness of our life together and, because there weren’t any other members of the family to consider, we could do whatever we fancied whenever we had free time. Whole days spent making things, indoor picnics, mystery tours on the bus etc. However, my daughter was younger that yours is when I met my present husband and remarried so I have no experience of trying to entertain an older child on my own. What a nice surprise gift from your friends!

    • Helen says:

      Thanks very much for your comment, Clare. I wasn’t sure about mentioning the isolation I sometimes feel – you know that drive to keep up certain appearances… I’m glad that you met someone else – I’ve had ten years of being a single parent and can’t really imagine finding someone and being in a relationship now.

      Anyway, yes the closeness of being just the two of us is special and we do have choices as well because of the situation.

  2. Love the shot of the evening Primrose and the Glad. 😄 I’m a huge fan of pakoras and curry …

  3. Helen, I’m glad you shared of your loneliness, as it brought out another blogger to share in the experience. I think we all worry to some degree about putting on a public face. In reality, I don’t think their is a single person out there that isn’t struggling in some way. I had many years of single and sometimes lonely, though I wasn’t doing that as a parent. I know that adds a whole different level of stress. I found that around 11 or 12 my boys were more self-directed and self-sufficient and the need to keep them engaged or entertained wasn’t so paramount. As they gain that independence, it also frees your time for exploring other interests in life. Hang in there. xo Alys

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